At a Glance: Ah! My Goddess
Ah! My Goddess!, also known as Ah! Megami-sama! is an anime where a goddess named Belldandy has to live forever with a mortal man named Keiichi. Why? Because he made a wish when he called the "goddess help line" for a goddess to stay with him forever, because he was pathetically single and lonely. Aww.
So who is Belldandy, what kind of powers does she have, and is she important in any major world mythologies? Who cares! The point is he now has a magical laundry slave/manic pixie dream girlstaying with him! Belldandy may grow to love Keiichi over time, but it really just seems like Stockholm Syndrome, considering that she had no choice over the original situation of living with him. So yeah, I could say that this anime looks a little disappointing after seeing five episodes.
Ah! My Goddess!
manga by Kōsuke Fujishima
50 (Plus a Spin-Off, OVAs, and a Movie)
Other people have said that this show gets better when other goddess characters show up. But, if that's the case, why does the anime take so long to introduce them? What we get with Belldandy and Keiichi alone is painful. It's also a bit sexist, because like I Dream of Jeanie or Bewitched, you have a magically gifted woman having to not use her powers and do domestic chores by hand to please a non-magical man.
The pace of the anime is also kind of slow. The manga might be better, because you would get to flip through the boring parts, or because when they adapted the manga into an anime they added filler. But it kind of feels like the whole anime is filler, or just that the plot moves forward very slowly. But perhaps it was intended to have a "slice of life" feel.
Most of the comedy revolves around Belldandy being super naive about human stuff (like Ariel in The Little Mermaid, or Starfire, that type of thing) and Keiichi being bad at being romantic and expressing his feelings. It's kind of cute, but it can also get stale, especially since there are a lot of anime like this.
I have to ask myself whether this is truly a bad anime, or if it's just not the kind of anime that appeals to me personally. I just don't really understand the appeal of all these shows where it's treated like a dream come true when a guy gets a hot girl who is so stupid you wonder how she ever figured out how to use a toilet. I don't see how a guy can enjoy acting like a babysitter to a complete space case, even if she is pretty.
But I'm willing to concede that this might just be my personal view, and not something that necessarily makes this anime or others like it bad universally. If you like this kind of show, you might like Ah! My Goddess!. I still think there are better, more mature anime like this, for example Spice and Wolf. And, like I said earlier, maybe this anime gets better later, or has a better second season or adaptations I haven't seen yet. I am going to stay open-minded and possibly finish this series. But as of the first five episodes I've watched, I'd have to give it a solid D.